1853 U.S. Assay Office of Gold $10
Post Lot Text
Die notes: Obverse with central motif of eagle perched on a rock, holding a shield, and in its beak a long ribbon inscribed LIBERTY. ABOVE, A LABEL OR CARTOUCHE ON WHICH THE FINENESS, 884 THOUS (no punctuation following), is inscribed. Surrounding: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and below, TEN D. This is the same motif used for earlier Humbert and U.S. Assay Office of Gold $10 pieces, but now with the denomination as TEN D. instead of TEN DOLS. Both Kagin and Breen state that all have 884 over a previous 880 on the label, but the present coin, which is very sharply defined, shows no such overpunching. Reverse with engine turning design above and below cartouche inscribed: UNITED STATES ASSAY OFFICE OF GOLD. CALIFORNIA. 1853. Reeded edge. Die state: Obverse with prominent "cud" at lower part of 4 (884). Reverse die is perfect. Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins mentions a die crack from Y (presumably, ASSAY) to border; this is not present on this coin, nor is it seen on the later die state of the same reverse die described in the following lot. If Breen's "Y" referred to LIBERTY on the obverse ribbon, on the present specimen there is no crack there either. PCGS Data: This is the finer of two examples from the S.S. Central America treasure certified by PCGS.